Wino Wednesday :: Zuccardi Serie A Bonarda 2012

I have drank a bunch of good wine and beer since I last was here. I hope you have too.

My long absence was not due to laziness like a few other times in the past year due to my crazy life! The Mr., myself, and the dog have had what I have deemed a “fresh start” year. 2015 has looked like this :: decide to move in April, nope actually pack up and relocate before the end of February, homeless for a couple weeks while we looked for places in The Peg, visited my family and some close friends, found an adorable teeny tiny one bedroom apartment in the specific area we wanted, started looking and then the Mr. got a job as Reference Librarian at the U of M and starts April 1, and I just unpacked my office stuff so I could finally write one of these.

Things are on the upswing for this cool couple and 2015 is our year.

Enough about me.

Actually, I am looking for creative job opportunities, whether that be in craft beer, wine & spirits, maybe something that uses my love of DIY or anything that involves my creative side in Winnipeg. If something happens across your path I would love it if you passed it my way.

The coolest part about moving to Manitoba is the less strict liquor laws. Yes, I know I am a tad on the strange side of things, but YAY! Seriously, I love The Independent Wine Stores of Manitoba. Not because they arrange wines by country which still kills me but because their six separate private shops that carry their own crafted selection of wine. Also, most of the shops have a room for tastings, classes, and cooking. There went all my extra monies.

My first stop once we were slightly settled, De Luca Fine Wines. I actually was meaning to walk into the De Luca grocery store but quickly realized the two are not connected inside, oops. The shop is well laid out, making it easy to peruse the selection and nothing gets too high up, so I can easily grab what I am looking for. The only staff in the shop were two women, which is F$#%ing amaze-balls. Unfortunately, both seemed rather engrossed in what they were doing so I did not get much help. {Disclaimer:: The second time I went I got fantastic service that solidifies many more trips in the future.}

The first of the bottles I purchased at De Luca’s is a Bonarda and

Review :: Zuccardi Serie A Bonarda 2012

Wino Wednesday :: Zuccardi Serie A Bonarda 2012

Technical Specs::

Vintage: 2012

Varietal: 100% Bonarda

Region: Mendoza, Argentina

Alcohol: 13.8%

Price: $18.99

I asked specifically for something interesting and off the beaten path at De Luca’s. She showed me many choices, both red and white, that interested me and a few varietals I have never tried, while staying under my $25 mark, which I did not mention when she showed me the selections. Points for knowing what the customer wanted even when they seemed unsure.

Her first choice took me to the familiar land of Argentina to show me a grape I had not had the pleasure of drinking before. In the glass this Bonarda is an opulent purplish red color that is opaque and young looking. On the nose there is a bunch o’ripe fruit: strawberries and black cherries. There is also a spice quality that I would attribute to the wine seeing some oak but other than that this wine is fairly straightforward. Juicy and easy tannins on the finish, that lingers nicely.

This is a very friendly entry intro to Bonarda which I can imagine can become a big, fruity, and tannic wine if the winemaker so chooses. This red is a win. I like that it is easy to wrap my nose around and drink. I would think this would be an easy wine to pair with food because of its soft tannins and easy drink-ability.

Drink up!

Marisa

P.S. Please bear with me and my photos because I have yet to find the sweet spot and time for ideal light in our new place.

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Wino Wednesday :: Treveri Cellars Extra-Brut “Blanc de Blanc”

2015 and a Happy New Year to you!

I am sure you gathered that I took some time to myself this holiday season, sorry if you were keen on finding holiday wine to pair with your delicious meals. My apologies, but as long as you like the wine the probability of it going well with your food is high, so cheers to whatever your choices were.

It is a new year and what I have deemed a better year for the Loreno/Fullerton house. We set the bar low for 2014 so 2015 doesn’t have to work too hard. This blog was started to fill my time. It was mostly me thinking I would be an amazing DIY blogger, meh, not so much, but then I stumbled onto my weekly wine review. To say that my Wino Wednesday post has keep me sane is a bit of an understatement.

Kept me sane and filled my time, it has. Also, I passed 100 posts before the new year! I thought that was an immensely huge milestone for me because I often get bored of things and move on in a hurry. I guess I found out that wine is truly a love of mine. It has stuck with me for 6 years and I it. This blog was a major part of that this past year.

To start the year off with a POP! I bring you my first review of 2015 with a glass of lively bubbles.

Review: Treveri Cellars Extra-Brut “Blanc de Blanc”

Wino Wednesday :: Treveri Cellars Extra-Brut “Blanc de Blanc” | The little Red Heart

Technical Specs:

Vintage: Non-Vintage
Varietal: 100% Chardonnay
Region: Columbia Valley, Washington
Alcohol: 12.0%
Price: $16.25 LCBO/CAD

This bottle of Washington sparkling wine is made in the Méthode Champenoise, meaning in the same way captial “C” Champagnes are produced, meaning a secondary fermentation takes place in the bottle, not a tank.

In the glass, this wine is a pale straw yellow with what can only be deemed “lively” bubbles; a party in a glass. On the nose, bright green apple with sweet yeasty notes. To note, the yeast is a very compelling and intriguing guest at this party.

This sparkling wine is very dry, has high acidity, and again, lively bubbles. The dryness is due in part to the winemaker adding no dosage. What is dosage, you ask? To boil it down to its most basic form, it means “no-sugar added.” This does not mean it is marketed to those that care about that sort of thing, but to those that want a shockingly dry sparkler. Essentially, dosage is a sweet wine that is added to each bottle before being corked. The amount of dosage added gives you the dryness of the finished product: extra-brut, brut, extra-dry, dry, demi sec, the latter being the sweet end of the scale.

To me, dry Champagne and sparkling wine goes with all meals but not all desserts. As Jameson Fink succinctly put it, “Sparkling wine is the Swiss Army Knife of wines. It is the one (liquid, bubbly) tool that can work with just about anything thrown its way.”

What I gathered is that this is particular sparkling wine is perfect to have “in your back pocket” as something you can snag off the shelf and know it will accompany most foods well at whatever event you are going to or having and it has the potential to gift well, too.

Drink up!

Marisa

Wino Wednesday :: Domaine Du Clos De Sixte 2011 Lirac

Oh lordy lord. It is only Wednesday, late Wednesday but Wednesday none-the-less and I feel like an entire week happened today. I guess I burned out quick this week. It didn’t help that Christmas music was playing everywhere and telling me that I have an extra two weeks to get my act together! AH!

I suppose you are reading this thinking, “Dude I had my holiday shopping list done this summer,” or you are totally in the same boat and know exactly how I am feeling.

Non-holiday related is the awesome thing that happened when I was at the LCBO picking up this and other wines a few weeks ago was the conversation I had with an absolutely charming lady. If memory serves her name is Maxine and she is a flight attendant that loves wines but not the prices she has to pay in Ontario. This is what struck up the conversation. The off the cuff comment that you make towards another not expecting a genuine response but I am my mother’s daughter so I responded with blah blah blah, my perspective, blah blah blah.

Honestly, I probably sounded like the biggest snot because I was in a particularly foul mood but she still indulged me. I think we chatted for 20 minutes before decisions had to be made on what wines to purchase. She was a bright spot in a line of dull LCBO stops looking for a particular wine.

For reals people, she talked about the places she stops while on the job, the wines she purchases, and the relationships she has formed with wine lovers and wine shops. Her passport is no slouch too. She talked of a favorite place in Italy and Chilean wines to just name a couple, I was in awe. The ability to have a job that allowed one to fulfill a wine dream and get it so close to the source, too cool.

She had glasses to die for and mentioned her age and how it was “catching” up to her and I was like “damn girl, you doin’ real good!” In all honesty, she reminded me of my mom, which is a TOTAL compliment if you happen to read this Maxine. They have a similar height, build, great glasses, super chatty with still being genuine, similar age, way different hair though.

I have a hard time living so far away from my mom so it was nice running into someone that was strangely supportive, yet a total stranger that reminded me of my mom.

Needless to say I left the LCBO with an extra pep in my step because my day had just went from drab to fab! This review is of a wine that I picked up that very day so hopefully I picked a good one.

Disclaimer: I thought I heard Maxine but I could have misheard that or filled in the gap of my memory from a few weeks ago with a wrong name. Oops. If I got it wrong PLEASE let me know. Well, no matter her name, she was quite nice.

Review: Domaine Du Clos De Sixte 2011 Lirac

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Technical Specs

Vintage: 2011

Varietal: 50% Grenache noir, 35% Syrah, 15% Mourvèdre

Region: Lirac, Rhône, France

Alcohol Content: 15.0%

Price: $24.95 CAD

It may be best to tell a little blurb about the region of Rhône that this wine comes from because it is not uber popular in the grand scheme of French wine growing areas and this may be the first one I have had (and remember) from this region. Lirac AOC, is named for the town of Lirac and is located 10km west, across the Rhône from the ever well known Châteauneuf-du-Pape AOC. It is fair to mention that Lirac has a many similarities in terroir when compared to Châteauneuf-du-Pape on the opposite bank.

First things first, I love this bottle. The glass bottle has the word LIRAC and crest of some sort and other bits that are a blown part of the glass. Nifty I think. Once poured the juice is an inky ruby color. After first sip I immediately set this glass down and walked away, if you have the time and ability may I suggest you decant this. It opens up and more nuances of the wine come through.

On the nose, this blend has black cherry, leather, and an vegetal/herbal quality. A very aromatic wine that has a complexity that reals you in. A bold palate that showcases the nose beautifully with what my nose percieved as vegetal/herbal ended up being grass and soil. This is medium-bodied and very easy to drink. The tannins are smooth and balanced and the finish is lengthy. It seems to just fade off subtly.

This is an easy drinker like I mentioned, but full and complex. It is suggested to decant for about an hour before consumption or you can decant and sip a bit here and there to taste it open up.

If you are looking for food to have with this may I suggest any roasted or stewed meat dishes If you like to avoid meat, think vegetables that have more heft, so say grilled or baked portobello with a balsamic glaze. My mind immediately wandered to carpaccio-style portobello mushrooms that I had a Veg Out, a vegan restuarant here in London, ON. I also think a vegetable, maybe a lot of root veggies, stew would do the trick.

You can drink this now or store and cellar for the next 4-5 years.

Drink up!

Marisa

Wino Wednesday :: The 2013 Grinder Pinotage

Hello…

Is there anybody out there?

I have not jumped ship from The little Red heart, although it may feel like that to my loveliest of readers. I can’t apologize too much because this is the first full week I have felt good and healthy. The other three weeks I felt like a shell of myself just going from one task to another and it was awful. Hindsight I think I may have had bronchitis but I came from a family that did not get “coughy cold things” so I was a fish out of water.

I still have a bit of a cough but I can smell AND taste again!

I tried to write a review a couple weeks ago and it was quite possibly the worst thing ever. I hadn’t had any real perspective on how sick I was until I had that sip of wine. I looked at my glass in utter disappointment for there was no way I could tell this from a glass of diet coke. Luckily, those days are behind me and I made it out mostly intact. It was touch and go there for a little bit.

In this past weeks, I started my seasonal job at LUSH and love it! Insert dark period where I rarely left bed. Tried-out for Forest City Derby Girls WFTDA team the Timber Rollers and was offered a spot on the roster for 2015. Went hard at those same practices and hurt my side bum and thigh. Celebrated three years of marriage and seven years of togetherness with Cody, no bubbly due to no taste buds, but I got a bunch of vegan donuts from Veg Out. Continued to work at LUSH and love it. Played in a two games of derby on the same night and fell on a set of wheels on my slightly healed and still hurting side bum and thigh during the second game. Oh I got passed the Star in the last jam of the game and took a bit of a tumble and most unfortunately couldn’t score three more points to tie the game up, that sucked but I was playing on a roster that equals FUN so nobody batted an eye. That is my definition of a team. Then there was American Thanksgiving, first one ever that I did not get to celebrate it with my family and I am in Canada, so it is hard to find the right fixin’s. Adulthood…not always that much fun.

A few other things happened but I will save those for next week.

Now it is Wednesday and I am happy and healthy.

Review :: The Grinder

Wino Wednesday :: The 2013 Grinder Pinotage | The little Red Heart

Technical Specs

Vinatage: 2013

Varietal: 100% Pinotage

Region: Winelands, South Africa

Alcohol Content: 14.0%

Price: $13.95 CAD

I was wandering around the LCBO, still sick mind you, and a couple of employees my age were having SO much fun that it reminded me of my days at Hugo’s Wine and Spirits. I miss that place. The two employees struck up conversation and one of them pointed me towards this bottle of wine. I was apprehensive because coffee and wine does not sound like a good time.

She was explaining it to me and says, “it’s from…it’s from…”

I interject, “South Africa?”

She looks on label, “Yes, have you had it already?”

I say, “Nope, but Pinotage is likely to be from South Africa.”

She smiles and says, “You must know your stuff.”

I say, “Nope, not really, but thanks for the compliment. I’ll try it.”

What is Pinotage, you ask? It is a distinctive grape cross of Cinsault and Pinot Noir from South Africa. One could say it is South Africa’s signature varietal.

This wine is definitely unique with a nose full of black cherry, coffee, and mocha and a dark, inky ruby color to match. I am glad that I picked something bright and full of flavor because my nose seems to be out of practice.

First sip is delicious tart cherry, that is round and supple enough to make this wine a sipper, with the coffee bean and espresso accompanying the slight dry tannins and a long finish of dark, yummy, chocolate. This wine is medium-bodied and was rather surprising.

I was expecting something a touch sweeter and with less body, gladly I was mistaken. I enjoyed this glass of wine with a dairy free dark chocolate truffle and it was delicious. Enjoy this wine during a dinner of barbequed meats, after dinner with a rich chocolatey dessert, or all by itself.

After letting my palate ponder after writing the above I came to the conclusion that this wine does indeed evoke a chocolate covered espresso bean flavor, especially on the finish. Too cool!

Drink up!

Marisa

I had to show you this picture of the behind the scenes because my socks matched the wine label and foil.

Wino Wednesday :: The 2013 Grinder Pinotage | The little Red Heart

 

 

 

Wino Wednesday :: Plowbuster 2012 Pinot Noir

It’s Wednesday, I still got this review done on a Wednesday!

I spent half of my day at the service department of Toyota. I was happy to do it because the Blueberry has had troubles since its last trip to Toyota service two weeks ago. This is not the same Toyota dealership as today. The one today did everything it could to make sure the Blueberry was all fixed up due to oversight (kindest word I could muster) at the shitty dealership down the road.

I love paying for other people’s incompetence. #not

The part that sweetened the day was new micro pens from Curry’s Art Store and a my first trip to Len’s Mill. I seriously died when I walked into this warehouse full of stuff, with near half of it being FABRIC! Tons and tons of fabric! I want to go back and look at every inch of that strange store. Even better was that I found the perfect fuzzy fabric I have been looking searching for for over a week! I may actually cross a project off my list.

Needless to say, I got home late and with it getting darker earlier I totally forgot about taking my photos and the lack of natural light necessary to take nice ones. I am sure many out there can take beautiful photos in darker situations, but to a novice beautiful, natural light is my friend. Here is a “behind the scenes” of my “studio.” HAHAHA! Actually, the lighting is pretty sexy.

 

Wino Wednesday :: Plowbuster 2012 Pinot Noir | The little Red Heart

In other news, wine.

I splurged a tad and bought a Oregon Pinot Noir from the LCBO. I know, I know. “Marisa I thought you were going to stay under the $20 CAD mark?” I couldn’t refuse this one. It is an Oregon Pinot Noir that I have never had the pleasure of consuming before and it was only $25. Usually I look at this section and see three bottles, all of which I have had and am not going to spend over $20 to drink again. This in no way means the others are bad it is just a thing that I don’t want to do.

To the PINOT NOIR——————–> And BEYOND!

Review:  Plowbuster 2012 Pinot Noir

Wino Wednesday :: Plowbuster 2012 Pinot Noir | The little Red Heart

Technical Specs

Vintage: 2012

Varietal: Pinot Noir

Region: Chahalem Mountains AVA of Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA

Alcohol Content: 13.0%

Price: $24.95 CAD

Interestingly enough Oregon is one of the states full of people and their own rugged individuality, and it reaches all facets of life, especially Pinot Noir. Oregon, or more specifically Willamette Valley, produces Pinot Noir like the best of them, along with Pinot Gris and Chardonnay. Basically, it does Burgundy, France varietals well.

In the glass this is purdy, real purdy. An almost star bright garnet color in the glass with a nose of cranberry, blackberry, cherry, and vanilla undertones. On the palate, this wine has all those wonderful fruits with fine tannins and a balanced acidic finish that starts before the wine gets sweet.

Stylistically, this is on the divide of California (New) / Burgundy (Old) world wines. It is perfect for those who want to venture into Oregon Pinot Noir, but maybe are off put by the idea of a rugged Pinot Noir.

Recap, your choices are usually slim when it comes to Oregon Pinot Noir at the LCBO, but I encourage you to snag one from Willamette Valley because I doubt you will be disappointed. A tid bit is that the difference is quality from say this $25 bottle to a $40-45 bottle, which will be exceptional. Either way, Willamette shouldn’t let you down when it comes to Pinot Noir.

Drink up!

Marisa

P.S. It’s Will-AM-it! Dammit. (i.e. Willamette and dammit rhyme) Letting you in on a secret so you don’t sound as dumb as you look, and when I say you, I mean me. That was me and it was embarrassing.